Girl meets STEM (and let’s hope she stays)

Confession time. I’ve never truly outgrown my tween-girl phase. Sure, by day I play a super serious aerospace engineering professor, but deep down, my true inner self is singing along to every Taylor Swift heartbreak song, dreaming about my future marriage to JC Chasez from *N SYNC. Justin Timberlake would be best man, of course.

Like most ’90s teenyboppers, Boy Meets World was a huge part of my adolescent upbringing. You can only imagine my excitement when Disney announced they were making Girls Meets World, a sequel to the original sitcom. The show centers around Riley Matthews, the teenage daughter of Boy Meets World power couple Cory and Topanga. (CORY & TOPANGA 4ever!!!) 

Girl Meets World’s most recent episode, titled “Girl Meets STEM,” addressed a topic that was very near and dear to our hearts (obviously). In the episode, science teacher Mr. Norton makes the students pair up. Each pair is responsible for two tasks. One student has to drop a marble into a beaker of solvent. The other student has to take the dissolved solution and figure out the composition of the marble. Riley discovers that all the girls get the easy task of dropping the marble, while the boys are in charge of the harder science task. Outrage? Yes, indeed! It leads to a wonderful girl chat with the wonderful Mama Topanga: “You can’t be lazy and you cannot think that it’s more important to be liked than it is to be leaders. Don’t talk yourself out of pursuing something because you’re afraid of how it’s going to make you look.”

What happens next? You can watch the episode below. [Full disclosure: This isn’t an official source, so it might be taken down. Legit episode link is also available from the Disney Channel here, but you’ll need a cable subscription.]

Alright, so parts of the episode might be cheesy, or even cringe-worthy. ::cough:: science teacher casting ::cough::  But, it brings up the issue of why girls tend to leave STEM around their middle school years. And for a sweet, nostalgic show that’s aimed at young teens (and those young at heart), this episode hits just the right note. In the words of Topanga Matthews: “Don’t let anyone get in the way of pursuing your growth and curiosity no matter what you want to do.” #leanin

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